Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni


(Sept. 4, 973, Kath, Uzbekistan -ca. 1050, Ghazni, Afghanistan)

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Page with a selection of online resources on al-Biruni.

Transcription of Arabic.

The transcription of the Arabic titles of the works of Al-Biruni has been adapted from Wehr's Arabic dictionary, with the following simplifications. Long vowels, which Wehr represents by a, i, u with overbars, will be rendered by capitals A, I, U. Hamza is ', ayn is `. Diacritical marks will be put not under but before the letter, thus: .h, .s, .d, .t, .z. Instead of k and d with underbars we will use kh, dh, instead of s with hacek we will use sh. The result is a primitive transcription which will hopefully serve the purpose in spite of a few ambiguities.
For biographic information on al-Biruni see the encyclopedia articles on the page with selected online resources; for biobibliographical information see GAS V, 375-383, GAS VI, 261-276, GAS VII, 188-192, RI no. 348 pp. 144-156.

List of Abbreviations

AIOS = F. Sezgin, ed., Arabische Instrumente in orientalistischen Studien, Frankfurt, Institut für Geschichte der arabisch-islamischen Wissenschaften, 1990-1991, 6 vols.

Boilot = D.J. Boilot, L'oeuvre d'al-Beruni. Essai bibliographique, Mélanges de l'Institut dominicain d'études orientales, 2 (1955), pp. 161-256, reprinted in IMA 36. Scan: part 1   part 2. The numbers in Boilot's article correspond to the order in Al-Biruni's own list of works, but al-Biruni also places the works in categories not mentioned by Boilot, and which will be provisionally abbreviated by cat. A, cat. B, etc.; I also give the number of leaves of the work according to al-Biruni's own list or a note that the number is not indicated by him. These categories are A. Astronomical tables and related material; B. Coordinates of cities, qibla; C. Computation; D. "Rays" and transits (that is to say, mathematical astrology); E. Astronomical instruments (in al-Biruni's view this category included projections of the sphere); F. Time and time measurement (no works from this category are extant); G. Comets, atmospheric phenomena (no works from this category are extant); H. untitled category, containing various subjects, including geometry; I. Astrology, including astrological interpretation; J. Literature (no works from this category are extant); K. Tradition.

DENA - Fehrestwara-ye dastneweshtha-ye Iran (DENA), beh kushesh Mustafa Derayati, Tehran 1389 A.H. (solar), 12 vols. Note: DENA also contains references to microfilms in Tehran of manuscripts in libraries in other countries. These microfilms will not be mentioned.
FANKHA = Fehrest-e Noskheha-ye khatti-ye Iran. This 33 volume work is currently produced in Meshed by Mustafa Derayati and his son Mojraba Derayati who contributed to this website.

GAS: F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums
GAS V: Band V: Mathematik bis ca. 430 Hijra. Leiden: Brill, 1974
GAS VI: Band VI: Astronomie bis ca. 430 Hijra. Leiden: Brill, 1978.
GAS VII: Band VII: Astrologie, Meterologie und Verwandtes bis ca. 430 Hijra. Leiden: Brill, 1979.

Ghas-Pay = F.Ghassemlou, F. Payervand Sabet, A comprehensive catalogue of astronomical manuscripts in the libraries in Iran, Islamic Azad University, 1391 (A.H. solar), 2 vols. [in Persian]

IMA: Sezgin, F., ed., Islamic Mathematics and Astronomy, Frankfurt: Institut für Geschichte der arabisch-islamischen Wissenschaften, 1997 - ..., 120 volumes to date. See the catalogue on www.igaiw.de under Publications.

King, Survey = D.A. King, A survey of the Scientific Manuscripts in the Egyptian National Library, published for the American Research Center in Egypt by Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, Indiana, 1986.

Krause: Max Krause, Stanbuler Handschriften islamischer Mathematiker, Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik, Astronomy und Physik, Abteilung B: Studien, 3 (1936), pp. 437-532, Reprinted in IMA 83, pp. 237-332.

Abu Nasr, Rasa'il= Rasa'il Abi Nasr ila'l-Biruni, by Abu Nasr Mansur b. `Ali b. `Iraq for al-Biruni. Containing fifteen tracs. Hyderabad, Osmania Oriental Publication Bureau 1367 H. / 1948 CE, reprinted as IMA vol. 28.

Qorbani, Tahqiqi = Abu'l-Qasim Qorbani, Tahqiqi dar athar-e riyazi Abu Rayhan Biruni, Tehran Markaz-e Nashr-e Daneshgahi, 1374 A.H. solar, ISBN 964-01-0756-5

RI: Rosenfeld, B.A., and E. Ihsanoglu, Mathematicians, Astronomers, and other Scholars of Islamic civilization and their Works (7th-19th c.), Istanbul: IRCICA, 2003. No online version available.
RI suppl 1 = A supplement to Mathematicians, Astronomers, and other Scholars of Islamic civilization and their Works (7th-19th c.), Suhayl 4 (2004), 87-139,   online version.
RI suppl 2 = A second supplement to Mathematicians, Astronomers, and other Scholars of Islamic civilization and their Works (7th-19th c.), Suhayl 6 (2006), 9-79,   online version.

SIES: E.S. Kennedy, colleagues and former students, Studies in the Islamic Exact Sciences, Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1983.

Suter, Beiträge = Heinrich Suter, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Mathematik und Astronomie im Islam, ed. F. Sezgin, Frankfurt, Institut für Geschichte der arabisch-islamischen Wissenschaften, 1986, 2 vols.

Wiedemann, Aufsätze = Eilhard Wiedemann, Aufsätze zur arabischen Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Hildesheim: Olms, 1970, 2 vols.

Wiedemann, GS = Eilhard Wiedemann, Gesammelte Schriften zur arabisch-islamischen Wissenschaftsgeschichte, ed. F. Sezgin, Frankfurt, Institut für Geschichte der arabisch-islamischen Wissenschaften, 1984, 3 vols.

Witkam = J.J. Witkam, Inventory of the Oriental Manuscripts of the Library of the University of Leiden, vol. 1, Manuscripts Or. 1 - Or. 1000. Leiden: Ter Lugt Press, 2007. Digital version on www.islamicmanuscripts.info, see Inventories.


Jan Hogendijk <jphogendijk _at_ gmail.com>
2014